The FY2009 – FY2013 Dartmouth Campus Capital Plan Update represents a continuation of our implementation of recommendations outlined in our 2005 Facilities Master Plan and reflects the goals outlined in our recently updated (2007) campus Strategic Plan. Since its completion, the Master Plan has informed decisions on the siting of new buildings and the allocation of resources to improve infrastructure and classroom environments. The Master Plan has also been an invaluable resource in documenting to the Commonwealth the need for funding for many projects. The recently updated Strategic Plan challenges the campus to become powerful "stewards of our place" by allowing local needs to be the stimulus for the creativity and energy that lead to global solutions. It encourages working in synergy with our region and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to create significant educational, economic, social and cultural impacts. Several of our projects – SMAST/Marine Fisheries Building; Library Archives; Biomanufacturing Building, ATMC Acquisition – stem directly from these overarching strategic principals.
Our FY2009-FY2013 Capital Plan Update is not significantly different from our FY2008-FY2012 plan. We have made a significant change in one project -- SMAST/Marine Fisheries. This is, in essence, a new project comprised of elements in two previous projects: 1) rehabilitation of the NRC building, and 2) a new Marine Fisheries building. Both of these projects have appeared on our capital plan update for over five years. Recent developments in the growth of SMAST, the status of the Naval Reserve Center, and the earmarking in the higher education capital bill have led to a reconfiguration of this as one project.
While it is not readily apparent using the update format, the campus has made significant progress on some of our highest priority projects, e.g. repair of Cedar Dell residence halls which will reopen in Fall 2008; fit out of the first floor of the new Research Building which will be completed in November, 2008; completion of the first two phases of a major electrical infrastructure project in Fall 2008; completion of the Library Archives portion of the Library Renovation project for October, 2008. Most of the changes in the plan represent adjustments made in light of the realities of the Higher Education Capital Bill, the Life Sciences Bill, and the Economic Stimulus Bills.
Although some of our higher priority infrastructure items were not specifically designated in the bond bill either as named projects or on our $20m basic infrastructure request, we continue to include them as separate priority projects using state dollars. We would anticipate that most of these would be funded through state funds. Our past experience with DCAM would indicate that should funds be available and should these projects rise to a higher priority, then we may accomplish them in this time period using state funds. Also, we have chosen to move most of our lowest priority projects to the new “undesignated” category. Again, this reflects the realities of the bond bill.
Some of the project costs reflected in the bond bill are now almost two years old. We have increased these project costs by 4% based on the McGraw Hill Construction Cost Index reflection of 4.2% increase in July 2008 over July 2007. We would remind the Trustees that our estimates are estimates based on today’s costs and reasonable estimates of time escalations. However, it is often the case that state funded projects will have a longer time line, and thus a greater cost escalation.
In FY2009, the campus will embark on a two year effort to update the Master Plan to reflect current realities. This update will allow us to document our progress in fulfilling the objectives outlined in the original Master Plan Report and to delete or modify any original objectives that are no longer relevant due to changing circumstances. The campus continues to increase and improve its capacity in capital planning which allows us to respond more quickly and accurately to state, system and campus demands.
Of the $184,757,000 million requested for projects for the period FY2009 – FY2013, approximately one-third represents costs for Deferred Maintenance and almost half represents costs for Building Rehabilitation, Compliance, and Deferred Maintenance combined. Over 90% of the $55.7million in deferred maintenance costs is attributable to two projects – Basic Infrastructure Improvements and the Repair of the Four Oldest Dormitories. While deferred maintenance is the closest descriptor for many of the projects, others might more accurately be categorized as “deferred replacement.” As systems and materials reach the end of their useful lives, it is difficult to attribute their “failure” completely to lack of maintenance. In addition, design flaws and changed/increased usage can lead to failures as well.
Basic Infrastructure Repairs/Replacements represents slightly less than one third of program type associated with the five-year capital plan, as does Teaching/Learning, followed closely by Student Life, and Research. Research and Teaching/Learning represent 44% of the total request for FY2009 – FY2013. However, we would also note that over 50% of the basic infrastructure projects have a direct impact on teaching, learning, and research.
This area represents the biggest change over the FY2008-FY2012 update. We anticipate over half (52%) of our projects will funded through State Funds – either G.O.supplemental, Life Sciences, or Economic Stimulus. Of the $95.5 million anticipated to be spent in state funds over the five year period FY2009-FY2013, 95% are earmarked and/or designated in the Higher Education Capital Bill, the Life Sciences Bill, or an Economic Stimulus bill. The relative decrease in other sources of funds represents the near completion of some major projects funded through either UMBA and/or campus fundraising.